Ashley Judd was one of the first high-profile actresses to speak up against Harvey Weinstein, and now she's speaking out for the first time publicly since her story was told in an explosive New York Times exposé.
In an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America", Judd said, "I thought 'no' meant no,'" and "I fought with this volley of no's" in trying to fend off Weinstein's advances 20 years ago in a hotel suite, where she thought she'd been going for a business meeting. When that didn't work, she decided to forge a "deal" with the producer, who wanted her to take part in a massage session.
Judd told him, "When I win an Oscar in one of your movies—OK?"... trying to get out of the situation, standing the whole time and frantically scanning the layout of the suite to see how she could make her exit.
Weinstein tried to get her to downgrade that promise to simply getting nominated, but Judd says she stood firm. "And I said, 'No. When I WIN an Oscar.' And then I just fled."
She says since then she's been of "two minds" on that interaction: one mind feeling ashamed for making that panicked promise, the other telling her she was "brilliant" for doing what she had to do to escape.
Judd says her vow was brought up one more time a few years later, when she was a more established actor and ran into Weinstein at a dinner. She says he noted he was still scouting for an Oscar-worthy screenplay for her, but that he was going to "let you out of that little agreement we made." Her response: "I had come into my power, I had found my voice. ... And I said, 'You do that, Harvey. You DO that.'"